By : Awang Indra Suwardi
One of the most fundamental pillars for Muslims is the concept of tawakkul, which is often defined as trust and reliance in Allah.
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ المُتَوَكِّلينَ
“Surely, Allah loves those who place their trust in Him”
(Surah A’li-’Imran, 3:159)
The verse shows the fact that Allah S.W.T. revealed it as a path to His love and those who uphold it consistently are His beloved servants.
As a faithful servant, a Muslim must put his trust in Allah SWT. As shown in QS. Al-Maidah : 23.
وَعَلَى اللَّهِ فَتَوَكَّلُوا إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ
” And put all your trust [in Allah], if you truly are believers.”
However, many people misunderstand the concept of tawakkul. They see tawakkul as a passive, verbal characteristic which simply involves supplicating to Allah for what we want. There’s an incident from Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) life that shows a clear perspective on tawakkul.
One day the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) noticed a ‘bedouin’ (desert Arab) leaving his camel without tying it, and he asked the man, “Why don’t you tie down your camel?” The ‘bedouin’ answered, “I put my trust in Allah.” The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) then said, “Tie your camel first, then put your trust in Allah.” (Tirmidhi)
From Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) response, it’s obvious that this man didn’t understand what trusting Allah was. He thought that tawakkul meant expecting Allah to take care of everything without the person giving any effort.
We can see another example during last Covid 19 pandemic. We can’t just go out anywhere without putting on our mask or not having vaccine injection and then hoping Allah will look after us. It’s not tawakkul, instead it’s called ‘tamanni’, which is having false hopes in Allah.
The Prophet’s (PBUH) advice demonstrates trusting Allah (tawakkul) isn’t just a verbal and passive trait. Instead, tawakkul is an active trait, meaning that we show Allah our trust by taking action toward what we are trying to accomplish. In other words, we must do our part first with our actions before trusting that Allah’s Divine help will come.
Tawakkul in Islam is not an absolute reliance on God’s taqdir. To demonstrate true tawakkul, we have to do our part first. For example, even though we believe Allah is the Giver of Life (Al-Muhyi) and The Protector / Preserver / Guardian (Al-Hafiz), we have to take the necessary health precautions to keep ourselves from falling sick, such as washing our hands and exercising. We also believe Allah is The Provider (Ar-Razzaq), but we still have to work hard to create income. We don’t expect money to just fall from the sky. Thus, if we have taken our action and then trust Allah with the results, Insha’ Allah may Allah make us all people of tawakkul.
⦁ Eggen, Nora (2011). “Conceptions of Trust in the Qur’an”. Journal of Qur’anic Studies. 13 (2): 56–85. ⦁ doi:⦁ 10.3366/jqs.2011.0020
⦁ (Quran, 3:159)
⦁ (Quran, 5:23)
⦁ Zahrotin, Novia Niken (2016). “Tawakkul dalam Al-Qur’an (Studi Al-Qur’an Tematik)”. Skripsi thesis. UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta. http://digilib.uin-suka.ac.id/id/eprint/19784/